I have heard a tale or two from long ago of surgeons who made a habit out of “helpfully” removing appendixes from patients (when they happened to be opened up anyway for some other reason) and doing this without the patients’ permission. Myth? True?
Podiatrists do not recommend holding writing implements between your toes unless it’s absolutely necessary.
The did consider during the space program that it might be worth removing the appendices of any astronauts that still had them, on the basis that at least they wouldn’t have to worry about appendicitis IN SPACE!
There does seem to be two schools of thought about appendices. Either they’re a potentially useful organ that contains a reservoir of benign bacteria and immune cells, and the other (correct) viewpoint is that the appendix is a bastard of an organ that will lie in wait, and try to kill you when you least expect it.
(Mine was perforated and gangrenous when they removed it.)
Artist as healthy bacterium in the guts of society. I like it.
Update: @bobtato: I took the liberty of quoting you in the Gnomon Chronicles:
True. “We were in the neighborhood” was a common thing. The thought was that after abdominal surgery there are always adhesions which make a later appendectomy harder and higher risk, so why not take it out while you are there? Can’t really comment on the consent thing, as I am not a surgeon and never did that kind of stuff, just dealt with the aftermath.
Why not both? There are many organs that could qualify as bastard organs that try to kill you. Testicles, for instance…
I know, I know, replying to myself, but I could not resist this considering my previous comment:
Guys, you my wish to skip this one
The pain you feel before they remove it just accumulated guilt.
They were probably concerned that something like this would happen:
Any human in the world: “The appendix is not a useless organ”
Me (involuntarily): “You’re a useless organ”
Oh my God it’s hanging to the ground
The other Auditors looked around in terror.
But the words didn’t work for Miss Tangerine. They just didn’t have the same force that they used to. There had to be something worse. Ah, yes…
‘Organs!’ she shouted, pleased to have found it at last. ‘And what are all you… organs looking at?’ she added. ‘Get on with it!’
- Thief of Time
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